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Reamping: How to get the amp to react like it's seeing a guitar?
Old 15th May 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 
Darkening's Avatar
 

Reamping: How to get the amp to react like it's seeing a guitar?

I've had good success with reamping clean guitars, but I haven't been satisfied with distorted guitars.

When I record the DI the level is about -3 dB, which is as high as I can go without getting some clipping going on. When I send the DI track back out to the amp for reamping, the DI track is still about -3 dB in Pro Tools. I tried raising the fader, and I could hear a difference and it started to sound more distorted, but I was totally clipping the DI track to do that. The hardware levels for the inputs/outputs on the 003 is set to +4.

I can't get the reamp'd tracks to sound as mean as when the guitar is plugged in. The guitar has Emg pickups in it. I have had lots of great recording tones with the guitar plugged into a head, and the cab in another room of the studio, tracking it traditionally. I thought reamping sounded the same as playing the guitar into the amp. Is reamping distorted guitar tracks a last resort?

the pan law in PT is -2.5 dB center. So, should I be hard panning the DI track when I send it out to the reamp? That would add 2.5 dB of gain right?

The DI tracks peak around -3 or -4 in PT, so with the panning law it's going to be around -5.5 to -6.5 when it goes out into the Redeye?
Old 15th May 2007
  #2
Since the guitar signal is already distorted, you are feeding a distorted sound into the amp, unlike when you play a guitar into an amp with the distortion turned on (the guitar is a clean signal and it's the amp that facilitates the distortion). Try setting the amp completely clean and use the volume controls to get the sound loud enough to where you like it. At that point you should be simply passing the original signal, virtually unaltered into the amp and can mic as you see fit.

One thing you may want to try, especially if you are finding yourself constantly re-amping is to record both an amp signal and a DI signal at the same time. This way you can feed the DI (clean and un-mic'd) signal back to the amp and adjust as necessary. This is the best situation with re-amping.

Hope that helps!
Old 15th May 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
absrec's Avatar
 

I know what you are talking about. It's like anything else. It's a compromise. I used to try reamping elecric guitars. Never could get it to sound better than the original amp I tracked in the first place. It could be that doing two conversions before going to the amp could take some of the "forward" sound of the guitar away. I doubt it, but it's a theory. If you have ever taken a DI electric and compressed it like a bee-atch, you'll know that there is quite a bit of sub harmonic content to it. The guitar amp sees this and compresses according to what it hears. It's kinda geeky, but it might make a small difference.

Another thing that a lot of people on this forum preach and I tend to agree with more everyday is that, the player tends to play differently depending on what he/she is hearing. What I mean is that if you set up a DI and a Fender Twin to cut your basic track, the player is going to use a different touch (whether they know it or not) then if they were playing through a Deluxe or a Marshall with more gain. If you then go back and run the DI into a Dual Retifier, chances are it won't sound very good because the player most likely played more open and did things to achieve sustain like ringing out chords and hitting the strings harder to get some angst into the part. If the initial tone had more gain, they may have let the amp do more of the work. Make any sense?

-Aaron
Old 15th May 2007
  #4
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Kittonian I think he's already using a DI...

I've found this with reamping too. The level does seem a little tame and you end up reaching for more amp gain that you thought was sensible.

The push button in the red eye is really far in...Like two inches or something. I dont know why.

What I usually do is just push the level of the DI in PT when it's going back to the amp.

I dont think reamping is a last resort. It's a valuable tool. Just be super careful about keeping the integrity of the DI's in terms of no clipping etc.

I've also had really good results from the 'reamp' reamp. The purple one. They're MUCH cheaper than they used to be now. Worth a demo.

J
Old 15th May 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Maybe this is a weakness of the Redeye? Generally the problem with reamping is that the +4 dbV line level from your D/A is waay too hot, and has to be attenuated a lot to get down to guitar level.

I have a Benchmark DAC-1 to drive my Reamp box. The genuine reamp box has a variable attenuator, so you can hit your amp as hard as you want to.

Maybe you driving your reamp with a weaker line level (-10 unbalanced??) than it was designed for?

The Reamp design is patented, so I expect the competitors reamps are a compromised design somehow ...
Old 15th May 2007
  #6
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max cooper's Avatar
 

What kinda load is the guitar seeing from the D.I? That's really key.
Old 15th May 2007
  #7
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lordmiguel's Avatar
 

what max said, plus you might want to try other boxes.

I assume before you are splitting the clean signal into pt you are playing and monitoring to a distorted amp source or something that has a somewhat similar response to the amps you are trying to reamp.
Old 15th May 2007
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper View Post
What kinda load is the guitar seeing from the D.I? That's really key.
Yeah that's a big thing. If you're using passive pickups you need a passive DI box with big ohmage.

However, I agree that you lose alot of the "in your face" quality when reamping.

****EDIT*****

This DI box has a 10 Mega-ohm input...it's awesome.

Countryman Type 85 | Sweetwater.com
Old 16th May 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 

IMO - typical guitar inputs are only 10K ohms or thereabouts - not Low-Z, but certainly not ultra high-Z.

A decent DI box or preamp instrument input probably has a higher impedance than most guitar amps. The 1 Meg+ DI boxes might have more high end, but that isn't necessarily what you want for distorted guitar tone.

IMO - I can get better sounds with the slight boost that a preamped or reamped chain can provide. Some guitar players use preamp boxes ahead of their amp as part of their tone recipe. (E.g the top boosts of certain famous players, or the preamp stage of the Korg delay box that the Edge inserted between guitar and amp).

Reamp provides the opportunity to process the sound a bit before it hits the guitar amp - it's not the same as plugging a guitar in direct, but IMO it can be better.
Old 16th May 2007
  #10
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C_F_H_13's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger View Post
IMO - typical guitar inputs are only 10K ohms or thereabouts - not Low-Z, but certainly not ultra high-Z.

A decent DI box or preamp instrument input probably has a higher impedance than most guitar amps. The 1 Meg+ DI boxes might have more high end, but that isn't necessarily what you want for distorted guitar tone.

IMO - I can get better sounds with the slight boost that a preamped or reamped chain can provide. Some guitar players use preamp boxes ahead of their amp as part of their tone recipe. (E.g the top boosts of certain famous players, or the preamp stage of the Korg delay box that the Edge inserted between guitar and amp).

Reamp provides the opportunity to process the sound a bit before it hits the guitar amp - it's not the same as plugging a guitar in direct, but IMO it can be better.
Good points.

Here's a giant article with lots of differing opinions on the subject...,,,every should check this out.

http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/a...light=reamping
Old 16th May 2007
  #11
Gear Head
 
Darkening's Avatar
 

The pad was in on the Redeye! I knew I should have tried it, but I assumed it was out. Cool huh?

There isn't a lot of documentation on the Redeye, from the website I inferred that the pad was only for using line-level signals into the DI. What is the input impedance of the Redeye?

The Redeye is great. No limitations with this box anymore. It provides more volume than the guitar itself.

I was splitting to an amp while monitoring.

Why is that pad so far inside the Redeye like that, though?

Also, regarding DI impedance: Everybody has a different opinion on this. Is there simply no correct answer for the best input impedance to have in a DI? I've seen anywhere from 300k to 10Mohm and up. The higher the impedance, the more hi end that gets through is that correct? Active Emgs wouldn't be subject to any loading anyway, so the impedance would only affect passive pickups, right?

I can't find any information about the Redeye's input impedance. I know that the DI is "compromised" for the reamping function to take priority, but not sure how exactly. I am going to go directly into PT instead, and I monitor thru an output into the Redeye into the amp (no splitting). That way I am monitoring the way the reamping signal sounds from the start.
Old 16th May 2007
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkening View Post
the pan law in PT is -2.5 dB center. So, should I be hard panning the DI track when I send it out to the reamp? That would add 2.5 dB of gain right?

The DI tracks peak around -3 or -4 in PT, so with the panning law it's going to be around -5.5 to -6.5 when it goes out into the Redeye.
Why are you involving ANY pan at all with your trip out of PT to the Redeye?

The DI is a mono track right?

Then simply route it to ONE direct output channel, put the fader volume to zero, then control the volume with your (newly discovered ) Redeye volume control function!

heh
Old 16th May 2007
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger View Post
IMO - typical guitar inputs are only 10K ohms or thereabouts - not Low-Z, but certainly not ultra high-Z.
now i service alot of guitar amps and most of them have 1 megaohm inputs.
many guitar-pedals have way lower input-resistance (10k - 500k ohm) though.

i think choosing the right impendance for the guitar plays a big role in sound.
i also believe alot of a good distorted guitarsound comes from the interaction between guitar-pickups and speakers. i think recording guitars always sounds cooler when the guitarist is in the same room as the speakers.
Old 16th May 2007
  #14
Gear Head
 
Darkening's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Why are you involving ANY pan at all with your trip out of PT to the Redeye?

The DI is a mono track right?

Then simply route it to ONE direct output channel, put the fader volume to zero, then control the volume with your (newly discovered ) Redeye volume control function!
The DI is a mono track.

Has anybody noticed a significant difference between the RedEye, Reamp, ProRMP and X-Amp driving an amp? Is the X-Amp less colored than the others? The Redeye doesn't sound very colored to me. Radial's site leads you to believe that the X-Amp is the one for keeping the original signal as pure as possible, as the transformer-based passive reamping devices will change the tone. Bull****?

Quote:
Kiwiburger: The Reamp design is patented, so I expect the competitors reamps are a compromised design somehow ...
As I understand it, the design is not patented, only the "Reamp" name.
Old 16th May 2007
  #15
Gear Head
 
Darkening's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by evilgrill View Post
now i service alot of guitar amps and most of them have 1 megaohm inputs.
many guitar-pedals have way lower input-resistance (10k - 500k ohm) though.

i think choosing the right impendance for the guitar plays a big role in sound.
i also believe alot of a good distorted guitarsound comes from the interaction between guitar-pickups and speakers. i think recording guitars always sounds cooler when the guitarist is in the same room as the speakers.
So, would you say that a 1Mohm DI is ideal for gtr DI tracks that will be reamped?

How do you choose the "right" impedance for a particular guitar?
Old 17th May 2007
  #16
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Darkening's Avatar
 

Old 17th May 2007
  #17
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Basically just use your ears. 1 Meg is probably ideal. Too high and noise becomes an issue. Too low and passive pups struggle to deliver the current.

But sometimes a pickup can sound cool when it's loaded up with a low-z input. I don't always want a guitar to sound clean and bright and punchy - sometimes soft and saggy is just what i want. Especially when it's driving a distortion stage - but even for clean tones, it's worth trying all impedance options - IF - you have the option.

I'd be interested to know the actual impedances of popular amps. I expect the cheap transistor stuff all has high impedance - but some of the good tube amps might be surprisingly low.
Old 17th May 2007
  #18
actually tube and FET amps usually have 1 meg inputs and transistor amps lower.
Old 17th May 2007
  #19
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Darkening's Avatar
 

Thanks everybody!

So if most tube amps are 1 Meg, why do most DI boxes have such low input impedance?

One of the Radial boxes has 220 Ohms... I think the Redeye is 30k... but then the Countryman 85 is 10 Mohms!

Why aren't companies making more 1 Meg DIs? It's either way lower or way higher.
Old 17th May 2007
  #20
uh... i dunno...
Old 17th May 2007
  #21
Little Labs
 
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Saw this and thought I would chime in.
Passive DIs have a lower input impedance because you can't make a Di transformer with a 1 meg ohm input impedance, I think the highest out there is the Jensen Di transformer which I think is 100k. The Redeye transformer provides you with a DI input impedance, and a Re-amp output impedance of, and this might surprise you, 30k ohms. Remember in the Redeye it turns the transformer around so the secondary is the primary and vice versa when switching between re-amp and DI (the reamp out being HIz as a pick up is and the DI in being Hiz as a DI in should). NOTE: Our active DIs have an input impedance of 10 meg ohms. Oh and if you have a passive DI whether it's a Redeye or Jensen or any other manufactures, if you put a Little Labs STD in front of it, it will make the load on your guitar 1 meg ohms.

Regarding the recessed Redeye pad switch: The switches I like to use have a good amount of surface contact area and are somewhat big. The switch is set back because there was no room up front. I always have those wooden Q tips around which I use the shaft of to push switch the pad. Once you do it once, it becomes pretty obvious and you'll find something lying around long enough that'll fit that hole. Yes the 14dB pad is engaged when shipped (it's still padded in the other position but only by 6dB). The Redeye when used with another product of ours the PCP. with the pad in on the Redeye and fed from the PCP expansion out, is the same level as the other PCP outputs for use as a satellite PCP channel. That's why we ship them that way, and in most cases you need that padding or you end up overloading the front end of your amp, especially on older vintage amps.
The other thing was asked is how to preserve the tonal relationship of the guitar amp basically vibrating the strings and the feedback artifacts as you would with the player playing live. With the PCP you can do this easily by just plugging a guitar into it while re-amping and place it in a good spot or even moving it around while the track is playing back, it's kind of fun.
Hope that helps
Jonathan
One last thing, as I see it, just as there is no one best microphone out there,there is no one best DI. It' all about palette and just think if Van Gogh had just one color o paint.
Old 17th May 2007
  #22
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Steamy Williams's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkening View Post
Thanks everybody!

So if most tube amps are 1 Meg, why do most DI boxes have such low input impedance?

One of the Radial boxes has 220 Ohms... I think the Redeye is 30k... but then the Countryman 85 is 10 Mohms!

Why aren't companies making more 1 Meg DIs? It's either way lower or way higher.
The input of the BSS AR-133 is 1M Ohms.

The Radial JDV Mk3 has a variable input impedance feature that they call 'Drag Control', which, IIRC, goes from 10k Ohms -1M Ohms. It also has an additional setting for 3.9M Ohms that is intended for piezo pickups, but which coincidentally matches the input impedance of my bassist's Ashdown amp.

I hope that helps.
Old 17th May 2007
  #23
Gear Head
 
Darkening's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamy Williams View Post
The input of the BSS AR-133 is 1M Ohms.

The Radial JDV Mk3 has varialable input impedance feature that they call 'Drag Control', which, IIRC, goes from 10k Ohms -1M Ohms. It also has an additional setting for 3.9M Ohms that is intended for piezo pickups, but which coincidentally matches the input impedance of my bassist's Ashdown amp.

I hope that helps.
It does help actually. That drag control makes the Radial JDV Mk3 sound pretty good to me... but as of now I have a 1Mohm, a 3Mohm, and a 30Kohm DI.

The higher the impedance, the more signal that is captured, correct? It would be more accurate? But this isn't always desirable?

So if you used a Countryman 85 with a 10Mohm input and tracked the DI and then ran it out through the Redeye to reamp, the Redeye's transformer would make it a 30Kohm signal going into the amp (possible 1Mohm). So is the signal being lost there between the Redeye and the amp?

What is the output impedance of a guitar with 500k pots?

Does it change when there are tone controls in the gutiar?

What about this guitar which has EMGs with 25k pots?
Old 17th May 2007
  #24
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Steamy Williams's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkening View Post
It does help actually. That drag control makes the Radial JDV Mk3 sound pretty good to me... but as of now I have a 1Mohm, a 3Mohm, and a 30Kohm DI.

The higher the impedance, the more signal that is captured, correct? It would be more accurate? But this isn't always desirable?

So if you used a Countryman 85 with a 10Mohm input and tracked the DI and then ran it out through the Redeye to reamp, the Redeye's transformer would make it a 30Kohm signal going into the amp (possible 1Mohm). So is the signal being lost there between the Redeye and the amp?

What is the output impedance of a guitar with 500k pots?

Does it change when there are tone controls in the gutiar?

What about this guitar which has EMGs with 25k pots?
I'm afraid I can't help you with your questions about the output impedance of guitars, but for those that, like Darkening, are concerned about the impedance that your amp sees when re-amping, you might want to consider the MW1 'studio tool' from Creation Audio Labs, which was designed with the help of Michael Wagner. It is an all-in-one instrument preamp and re-amping device that has variable impedance control on the re-amping output as well as on the transformerless DI input.
Old 17th May 2007
  #25
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Darkening's Avatar
 

Thanks Steamy!

Regarding the impedance that the amp sees... I posted this in another thread about reamp devices... It's from the reamp website:

By design, The Reamp can “simulate” any guitar pickup’s impedance. It is important to understand that impedance and level on the output of the Reamp is the same thing as far as the amp is concerned. The guitar's "sound" and pickup imprint has already been recorded. The Reamp's Trim Knob adjusts level/impedance so matching the output of a guitar is a matter of plugging in a guitar, adjusting the amp to the desired sound, unplugging the guitar and plugging in the Reamp and adjusting the Trim until the level is the same as when the guitar was in. Depending on what guitar you used and how hot it was recorded, would ultimately dictate where the Trim control is put. This way the Reamp is not limited by the so-called "Guitar Simulation" of two pickup types but ALL guitar pickups. And remember, the Reamp goes to 11.
Old 17th May 2007
  #26
Little Labs
 
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Just a note: The Redeye output trim is set up the same as the reamp so what you quoted would apply to it as well. Oh and the Redeye goes to >twelve< nyuch nyuch.
Old 17th May 2007
  #27
Gear Head
 
mrguitarguy's Avatar
 

Here's my $0.00 (and some of you may feel that it's worth only that).


I'm a guitarist and I'm also one of those types of guitar players who is really big on playing with a lot of dynamics. Re-amping was often a problem as a result because it was tough to get things to respond the same.


Here's what I've found:

1. Use the cleanest, clearest preamp you can get your hands on. The more color a preamp adds, the less likely you are to achieve the same feel (I've had no luck with tube preamps). I've tried everthing under the sun and I've had the best luck so far with True's Percision series preamp (I'm using a P-8). Those babies are CLEAN. I'm using the Redeye as my reamp box. I'm also recording into and reamping out of Protools HD at 24 bit. My recording level is never high enough to trigger any sort of soft limiting and I NEVER compress the clean guitar signal.


2. A/B-ing. I set the amp and mics up so I can A/B the reamp signal vs. me playing the part (assuming I'm the guitarist). I do this adjusting the reamp level until the volume matches perfectly with the guitar itself (you could also record the original take through the amp to have a comparision if the guitarist won't be with you later and you're using the same amp for one of your reamp tracks.) This seems to match everything up great and the tone is almost indistinguishable from the guitar straight into the amp (the very minor coloration is most likely due to the Redeye).


Disclaimer: I'm using passive pickups and high quality mogami and George L cables.


This is what has worked very well for me so far. Your mileage may vary...


I'd love to hear more about what's working for all of you.
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